DIPLOMACY: Detente: The Word Won't Go Away

The charges that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is soft on the Soviets have reached a peak in recent weeks. Longtime Administration critics and a clutch of presidential candidates have damned détente as a one-way street; the U.S., they claimed, has been bulldozed by the Russians. President Ford reacted by replacing the word détente in the diplomatic vocabulary with "peace through strength." All U.S. embassies were advised that the change was no mere wordplay; the U.S. was indeed taking a tougher stand.

Last week Kissinger took steps to signal the Kremlin that,...